SGA tables student library fee topic

Ryan Richardson/The News

Meghann Anderson
Staff writer

Ryan Richardson/The News

The Student Government Association voted Wednesday at its weekly meeting to table legislation that would send the proposed idea of the new library and student fee to the Board of Regents.

Before debate closed, SGA President Jeremiah Johnson gaveled down further debate to be held at next week’s meeting.

Johnson moved to require a 25 percent minimum student body referendum.

Josh Jacobs, chief of staff, said it would be dangerous to require a minimum of students to vote.

Student fees would increase about $93.38 a semester to help fund phase one of the $62 million project.

The fee would go toward the new facility rather than the general operating budget.

Jacobs said allowing the students to vote on the student fee is important.

“Students have been involved in this since day one,” Jacobs said. “The library task force has four or five students out of the 15 people total.”

Robert Spalding, SGA secretary, asked Jacobs about the current library task force.

He said the library task force is inactive and will regroup if the vote for the student fee goes to the Board of Regents.

According to poll results on the SGA’s Facebook page as of Wednesday night, 46 people voted “no, the University does not need a new library,” and seven voted “yes.”

“SGA has a role to lead the student body for suggestive content,” Jacobs said.

If the fee passes at next week’s SGA meeting, it will go to the Board of Regents and then to the student body for final voting.

If the Board of Regents passes the proposal, students will vote on the fee-based funding program via myGate.

Jacobs said the proposal would pass with a simple majority.

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said if SGA was going to stipulate the vote, it would be a tremendous responsibility for members to get the word out about the vote.

Jacobs said President Randy Dunn could have taken the majority vote of the SGA and then moved the proposal to the Board of Regents, but Dunn wanted more student involvement.

Construction for the new facility is expected to begin in 2013 if the vote passes.

The new library would include study rooms, a computer lab with more than 100 workstations, a student auditorium and all the honors program offices.

Jacobs said the facility would assist in meeting educational needs of students by providing more opportunities to learn and collaborate.

Waterfield Library would be transformed into a student services center.

“Limiting the tuition increase is the goal,” Jacobs said. “The goal is to keep tuition increase and the library fee the same as just the tuition increase.”

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